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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica

Silverweed

Flowering Period: May, Jun, Jul May June July
Flower color: yellow
Full sun Mostly sunny
Wet soil Moist soil


At a Glance: Low growing hairy herb with runners and solitary yellow flowers.

Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Reddish runners.
Leaves: Basal, to 40 cm (16 inches) long, erect, pinnately compound with a mix of large and small leaflets that are woolly beneath.
Flowers: Petals yellow, oval, to 1.3 cm long; flowers single on leafless stalks to 20 cm (8 in) tall.
Flowering Period: May, June, July.
Fruits: Flattened oval achenes to 2 mm long.

Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica
Photo © 2004, Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
OBL (obligate wetland)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites


Wildlife Value
(data not available)

Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: The Blackfoot of Alberta used the runners as ties for leggings and blankets.
Medicinal Uses: The roots were collected and boiled by the Haida, who drank the tea as a purgative. The roots mixed with other herbs were used for medicinal preparations. The Kwakwakawakw boiled the roots, mixed them with fish oil and applied them as a poultice. They also pressed the roots and applied the juice to inflamed eyes.
Food Uses: The roots were used as food by almost all of the coastal groups. Silverweed has two types of roots, short, curly roots near the surface, and long, fleshy taproots. These were dug and steamed to remove their bitter flavor. When cooked, they taste like sweet potatoes, but retain a slightly bitter flavor. Among the Nuu-chah-nulth, silverweed roots were second only to bracken rhizomes as a root vegetable. In Kwakwakawakw tradition, the men cooked silverweed roots at feasts. Layers of curly and long roots were steamed over hot rocks. The chiefs and high-ranking persons ate the long roots and the commoners ate the curly roots. Leftovers were taken home to the wives.
Name Info: The name silverweed refers to the silvery-gray appearance of the plant.
Interesting Facts: Silverweed patches were often owned by certain chiefs, especially among the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwakawakw, and Haida.



Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.